Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I Deserve an 'F' in Homework

Parents who do their kids' homework are the lowest form of parent, right? Well, call me a bottom feeder because I just failed my first big test in Homework 101.

As my daughter tackled her first big school project over Spring Break, I struggled with the age-old parenthood dilemma: To Help Or Not To Help, That Is The Question. The assignment in question was to build a model of a building of her choice from around the world. She chose a Pagoda. And, truth be told, I had a hard time keeping my hands off it.

Did she build it herself? Sure. But figuring out the best way to go about it was a different story. We discussed her options, and rather than me allowing her to figure out why any given option was viable or not, I found myself giving her the answers. Me! A mom who usually has such good instincts! And the worst part was, I knew I was doing it, and still I couldn't stop myself. I just wanted her to have an engaging experience with this milestone. I wanted the process to be fun for her, not frustrating, the end result be something she was unquestionably proud of.

So I'm one of those parents. The ones who do their child's homework for them. In the end I undoubtedly robbed her of some aspect of the learning process. So, I am making a mid-year's resolution: Next time, even if I have to gag and bind myself, I will keep my thoughts to myself and let her find her own way.